Help! I bought a counterfeit product. What do I do?
If you bought the product from a retail store, contact the manufacturer for advice.
If you purchased the product from an e-commerce website such as eBay, Amazon, AliExpress, Groupon, Facebook etc;
Always retain the product. The product is your only proof of receiving a counterfeit. If returned, the seller will simply claim it is not a counterfeit and will likely sell it to another unsuspecting consumer.
Notify the seller you purchased a counterfeit and you are retaining it for the manufacturer and authorities. Request a refund from the seller.
Notify the offending selling website (e.g. eBay, Amazon etc.) you received a counterfeit by opening a dispute case. Provide photos (not the actual product) if requested.
Leave negative feedback for the seller. Be civil but clear to protect others from being duped. Retain the product to support your feedback.
If the seller and/or website refuses a refund, hopefully you made the purchase on a credit card. Notify your credit card company you retained the counterfeit product and dispute the charge.
Notify authorities and the manufacturer. (You can do this using the "Report a Fake" feature on The Counterfeit Report® website.
Do not attempt to mail or resell the product. Trafficking in counterfeits is a crime with criminal and civil penalties.
Isn’t it easy to detect a counterfeit product?
No, absolutely not -- especially from online sellers. Counterfeiters prey on a consumer's desire to find a "good deal," and have become very good at recreating almost visually identical counterfeit products. The counterfeiter's goal is simply to make money regardless of quality, health or safety concerns for the consumer. That's why we created The Counterfeit Report®.
Most people know that a $50 Rolex or Coach handbag is a fake and will buy it anyway, regardless of quality, hoping it will impress someone. We can't help them. But many counterfeit products are designed to deceive consumers into buying what they believe is the actual authentic product at a discount or "good deal." The product is often of poor quality, unsafe or will not perform like the authentic product.
Counterfeiters rely on consumer greed, and it works. Counterfeiters produce over $1 trillion in counterfeit products which may pose serious threats to your health, safety and finances. Up to 40% of online prescriptions are fake, and over 500,000 counterfeit aircraft parts are installed yearly according to the FAA. It's your safety at risk. Counterfeiting hurts manufacturers, costs US workers over 750,000 jobs, and is dangerous. Many counterfeit products are identified when they are returned for warranty claims, someone is injured, or the product simply fails to work. You are out your money, and the manufacturer's reputation and brand is tarnished.
How do I tell if a product is counterfeit?
Compare it with an authentic product at an authorized retailer. Counterfeit products are manufactured to deceive you and may be visibly identical to the authentic item. However, they are usually poor quality, or missing features or accessories. Seek the help of store staff familiar with the product.
Check the manufacturer's website for the product description, current models, colors and packaging.
If the manufacturer has a serial number authentication feature, registration process or authentication guide -- use it!
Look for misspelled words, blurry images, and poor alignment of package graphics. While most counterfeits are very deceptive, you may find an obvious error.
Avoid the anxiety and financial loss. Buy authentic products, with a warranty, from an authorized retailer. Avoid unauthorized sellers on e-commerce websites like eBay, Amazon, Facebook etc.
Does buying a fake watch or handbag really hurt anyone?
The danger of counterfeiting goes beyond mere financial harm and theft. Organized crime, terrorist groups and street gangs use the sale of counterfeit goods to raise money for illegal activities and violence. The Basque separatist group, ETA, has been linked to the sale of counterfeit clothing and handbags. Paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland have funded terrorist activities through the sale of pirated products, including copies of Disney's The Lion King. Protection rackets in Italy no longer demand just money from retailers; instead, they want shelf space to sell counterfeit goods. Most alarming is that those who aim to terrorize United States citizens look to counterfeiting to help them achieve their deadly goal: Seized Al Qaeda training manuals recommend the sale of fake goods as a financing source for its terrorism.
The scope of counterfeiting is staggering. In just one week in China, Procter and Gamble, the parent company of Gillette, Oral-B and Duracell, seized more than 1.5 million fake Gillette products, a substantial amount of fake packaging for several P&G products, recovered 100,000 counterfeit razor blades, 400,000 fake disposable razors, more than one million counterfeit Duracell batteries, and 40,000 fake Oral-B toothbrushes. Just in one week! Imagine how much bigger the problem is for all U.S. manufacturers and for manufacturers around the world.
How do I list a "Counterfeit Product Alert®" on The Counterfeit Report®?
The Counterfeit Report® publishes counterfeit product information received from various sources -- manufacturers, government agencies and subject matter experts providing sufficient content for publication. We do not publish content submitted by consumers.
You must have legal standing (a right or claim to the product) to list a Counterfeit Product Alert. Subject matter experts, or "authorities" on collectables, or "out of business" manufacturers may also list on The Counterfeit Report subject to our review and approval.
Registered manufacturers can directly manage and instantly update their own listings and content. Please contact us.
The Counterfeit Report can prepare and manage your product content, provide micro product images, and maintain your global company presence on The Counterfeit Report®. contact us
Web links on The Counterfeit Report® direct consumers to the product manufacturers website.
Do I have to register to list a Counterfeit Product Alert®?
Yes - You must be an approved member and abide by our Terms-of-Use (TOU) to publish a Counterfeit Product Alert.
You must have legal standing (a right or claim to the product) to list a Counterfeit Product Alert. Subject matter experts, or "authorities" on collectables or "out of business" manufacturers may also list on The Counterfeit Report subject to our review and approval.
We prefer Members edit their own product content and photos for immediate global web exposure on The Counterfeit Report®. We can also handle content management and photography for you.
Members receive global counterfeit product exposure, notifications of fake products, direct business exposure to interested consumers, consumer interest statistics, direct consumer links for their company resources, and other useful tools.
Does The Counterfeit Report® sell or give out my personal information?
No. Your personal account information is for the use of The Counterfeit Report, under the terms, conditions, and service objective of the site.